MAX CAVALERA Talks About Getting 'Kicked Out' Of SEPULTURA, Hanging Out With OZZY OSBOURNE

MAX CAVALERA Talks About Getting 'Kicked Out' Of SEPULTURA, Hanging Out With OZZY OSBOURNE

Tom Reardon of the Phoenix New Times recently conducted an interview with Max Cavalera (SOULFLY, SEPULTURA, CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, KILLER BE KILLED). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Phoenix New Times: So why [write your memoir "My Bloody Roots"]? Why now?

Max: It felt like it was a good time. I'm reaching about 30 years of my career. 30 years of music. It's a story that I think is really cool. Coming from Brazil . . . and you know, achieving what you wanted, your dream. There is a lot really funny shit in it. Pissing off Lemmy [Kilmister of MOTÖRHEAD]. Throwing wine on Lemmy's head. Lemmy chewing Gloria's [Cavalera, Max's wife and manager] ass, saying he wants to kick my ass. Puking on Eddie Vedder [PEARL JAM] on a MINISTRY tour. Those are fucking amazing stories and you can't fabricate this shit. The time made it. So it was a long process. I worked with a guy, Joel McIver, who is an English writer. He wrote a Randy Rhoads book, a MOTÖRHEAD book, a DEEP PURPLE book, and a METALLICA unofficial biography, which they really loved. We did about 1,000 interviews trying to remember everything. It wasn't chronological. One day, we'd talk about my childhood or the split from SEPULTURA or the death of [Max Cavalera's stepson] Dana. That was a really hard time to talk to about. It tough to talk about that stuff. That was hard . . . Dark, really dark.

Phoenix New Times: How did you get through those moments? You know, thinking, should I say this?

Max: I pissed off a lot of people. I called [brother Igor Cavalera's ex-wife] a whore. Paulo Jr. [SEPULTURA bassist] didn't play on a lot of records. It was the truth. A lot of people didn't know that. I didn't want to hold nothing back. I was truthful. Even my shit with drugs and alcohol. I abused the shit out of it. I don't know how I survived it. I was taking, like, 25 Vicodin a day and drinking two bottles of wine on top of it. People need to know this shit. I've been clean, like, eight years now. Early days of SEPULTURA . . . me hopping around like a Tasmanian devil on stage and that was usually after, like, six shots of vodka and some painkillers, but I wasn't fucked up. It was fuel for the show. I am human, you know, and vulnerable like anybody else. I fight demons like everybody else. It was hard to let things go. I like drinking. I like getting fucked up. I would never have puked on Eddie Vedder, but I did because I was fucked up. Same with Lemmy. I would never have thrown wine on his head, but I was fucked up. I would never have done it now — not in this state of mind — but I wouldn't have it any other way. I wanted SEPULTURA to play "Orgasmatron", but Lemmy wouldn't let us, so I got pissed off and the last night of [that] tour we all went on stage during MOTORHEAD's last song naked [laughs] with socks on our cocks and ruined their night. Lemmy got super-pissed and yelled at Gloria. He told her that we were never going to make it in rock 'n' roll and that we were unprofessional and all that shit. We've laughed about it since then, and I think we gained their respect, in a way.

Phoenix New Times: Was it therapeutic for you to go through all of this?

Max: We treated it more like conversation, like we're doing right now. It was more like us just having a talk. I wanted to be easy for people to read. I didn't want it to be complicated. I wanted it to be as easy as possible. The book starts in Brixton [London], which was the last show with SEPULTURA. Then we go back to my childhood in Brazil. I didn't know it was the final show at the time, but it was a really explosive way to begin. I thought it was a really cool to open it like that. It was his idea, instead of going chronologically. I was on top, conquering the world, and then right after that, getting kicked in the head and everything was gone. My band was gone, my brother was gone, Dana had just died. Dave Grohl [FOO FIGHTERS, NIRVANA] did an awesome intro. He tells a story about how he bought a $50,000 speaker for his studio sound system, and he pops in [SEPULTURA album] "Roots" and it blew up the whole fucking thing. [mimicking Grohl] "'Roots' blew up my whole system." I love that story. If your album can blow up a $50,000 system, you're doing something right. Mike Patton [FAITH NO MORE, MR. BUNGLE, TOMAHAWK] says really cool shit about us in Brazil. He was hanging out with us in Brazil, going to voodoo places. I took him to voodoo rituals in Brazil. He was staying at Igor's house. It was really cool. Sharon Osbourne talks about the Dana thing [in the book]. We were playing Donington [Monsters Of Rock festival] with [Ozzy Osbourne] and they flew us home in their private jet when Dana died. It was a horrible thing. We were flying home because Gloria's son died, in Ozzy's plane. It was horrible. The whole time. It was so dark. I wanted to say something to Gloria and words couldn't even come out of my mouth. Sharon talks about feeling like we needed a friend at that time and she was able to help us. They didn't have to do anything. They were just playing a show with us, and yet they showed their true colors. Somebody else could have said, "I'm sorry for your loss," but they didn't do that. They put us on their plane, gave us money and gave Gloria a crucifix. It was amazing. Then when I got kicked out of SEPULTURA, it was around January, we were invited to their [Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne] house for a dinner because Ozzy wanted to encourage me to go on. That's how felt, like he should do something. I went to their house and sat down. Ozzy sat me down and said, "Fuck them. Fuck those guys. You need to get up off your ass and do something." It was awesome to hear that from him and I needed to hear that. He played me some BLACK SABBATH demos and it blew my mind. It was fucking awesome to hear that from him. I was tripping the whole time. I never even imagined I would do that. You know, like when I was a kid in Brazil, if you would have told me I would sit down with Ozzy, fucking BLACK SABBATH, I wouldn't have believed it.

Read the entire interview at Phoenix New Times.

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